Air NZ ups long-haul game with Boeing buys

Air New Zealand has ordered eight Boeing 787 jets.
Air New Zealand has ordered eight Boeing 787 jets.

Air New Zealand has ordered eight Boeing 787 jets worth $US2.7 billion ($A3.9 billion) at list prices, opening up the possibility of new non-stop routes such as Auckland to New York City.

The announcement confirmed a report last week that Boeing had beaten rival Airbus, which had proposed the A350 for the hotly-contested deal.

The 787s will replace eight older 777-200ERs and leave the carrier with an all-Boeing wide-body fleet as well as Airbus A320 jets for shorter flights.

"With the 787-10 offering almost 15 per cent more space for customers and cargo than the 787-9, this investment creates the platform for our future strategic direction and opens up new opportunities to grow," Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon said in a statement.

The eight jets will enter the Air New Zealand fleet between 2022 and 2027.

Air New Zealand in March launched a two-year cost reduction programme and said it would defer spending on aircraft by about NZ$US750 million ($A1.1 billion) as part of a business review.

The airline said the 787 was 25 per cent more fuel efficient than the jets it is replacing and carriers typically receive large discounts on the list price.

In February, Air New Zealand slashed domestic fares by as much as 50 per cent in a shake-up of its pricing structure in response to the slackening travel market.

Australian Associated Press